Before I thought about the combined flavors of Cheshire cheese and chipotle peppers, I felt seduced by the acoustically pleasing sounds of the two words spoken aloud. Cheshire. Chipotle. The two words together create culinary alliteration that’s about as titillating as Coca Cola or Toggenburger tarts.
As I ruminated on the flavors, I decided to use Great Lakes Cheshire, aka Zingerman’s Creamery’s first hard-pressed and raw milk cheese. We started carrying the cheese in January and its been a bona-fide favorite of ours one wheel after next. It is musky and acidic, a flavor bouquet that I expected would complement the smokiness and heat of chipotles.
I also decided to modify Mark Bittman’s adaptation of Jim Lehey’s bread recipe because it’s so darn fun to make. It’s time consuming, sure, but you probably know what I mean about the fun part of this recipe if you’ve ever used it before. The beauty of the final product is always somehow worth the 12-18 hours of rising time, not to mention the personal planning and time management skills that this recipe demands.
Here’s how to do it:
Follow Bittman’s famous No-Knead Bread recipe. In addition to the water, flour, yeast, and salt needed in the recipe, you’ll also need 5 oz. Great Lakes Cheshire and 4 chipotle peppers.
Instead of 3 cups all purpose flour, use 2 cups all purpose flour and 1 cup whole wheat flour.
Add 5 oz. of Great Lakes Cheshire, cut into 1 cm cubes and 3 chipotle peppers, seeded and minced to the bowl of flour, yeast, and salt.
I also minced 1 chipotle for the outside of the bread, which I rubbed on the dough when I transfered it to a towel.
The guys and gals at the store dug it.